1_Transformed by Love
Series on Love 2007 Part 1
Transformed by Love
Rev. Danny L. Trussell
River of Life Assembly of God
Skellytown, Texas 79080
February 25, 2007
Sunday 10:00 A.M. Service
OK. Well now. It’s LOVE that is going to change the situation the way God wants to change it!
Every person on the face of the planet is sick or has been sick in some way in the natural. Every person has something that needs healing in the natural. There is something in the physical realm that needs healing. Or, there is something in the soul realm of the mind, will, and emotions that needs healing. When a person is born again he or she is born of the Holy Spirit in his or her spirit. They have a spirit person in them that is completely whole again. They have a new heart in that spirit that is like Jesus. Nevertheless, in the living out of the spirit by the Holy Spirit the life we live is being perfected or sanctified to be like Jesus. In Christ we become the healed resisting sickness!
Jesus resides by the Holy Spirit in each person who is born again. The Apostle Paul wrote that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). We have the love of God within us by the Holy Spirit. Why aren’t more people walking in that love?
I. Too Busy To Love
God’s love is the kind of love that builds churches. But, most people tend to forget that fact after a congregation has grown larger and/or the church is more established. Pastors and members alike can become insensitive to the needs of others. The number one concern in the hearts of people becomes obsolete in the quest to have the right image or reputation. Someone may say, “I don’t have time to stop and pray for this person. I’ve got to get home or to work, or something else.” Or a person may say, “I would like to pray for this person, but I don’t know how.”
Many times we are insensitive to other people and their need for God’s love. They may be walking around with their head down, but there are people in the church service who walk on by wearing the title of Christian, but without the sensitivity required of one.
II. Someone Was Willing to Listen
Creflo Dollar shares insights. He grew up in the church. His mother made him go. She said, “If you don’t go to church, you don’t go anywhere else either.” So he went to church! He volunteered to work as a janitor. He got paid $30.00 a week. Still, however, something was not right. He was opening himself up to demonic influences. He would cuss until his adrenaline levels were up to psych himself up for a football game.
Then one summer night he realized God was trying to reach out to him. He couldn’t deal with God’s voice anymore. It annoyed him. He called one of his friends. He said, “Look man, something’s going on with me. I need to talk to somebody.” I described to him what was happening, and he said, “Man, sounds to me like you got the exorcist in you. Bye!” Creflo would wake up in the middle of the night saying, “I’m the devil! I’m the devil!”
That same weekend a world-class track sprinter came to town on vacation from the University of Alabama. He went to the same high school as Creflo and they’d played sports together. Something’s going on with me.” He said, “I know exactly what’s going on with you, because I’ve been praying for you every day. I’ll be right over.”
The guy came over and told Creflo about Jesus. Even though he’d been to church all his life, Creflo had never heard any of what his friend said. He said, “Write your sins down on a piece of paper.” So he did. Then he said, “Take that piece of paper, tear it into as may pieces as you can, and throw them in the trash.” After I did so, he said, “This is what happens when you ask God to forgive you and come into your life. He takes every sin, tears it into pieces, and throws it into the sea of forgetfulness. Never forget this as long as you live.”
They prayed the prayer of salvation. Creflo and his friend prayed the words in Romans 10:9-10 and asked Jesus to come into his life and he was born again. He was thrilled! He left the room feeling different. Something on the inside had changed. There was joy. He was finally free.
Love Kept Coming
His friend later said to him, “Now you have to learn how to live the life of a Christian and learn to renew your mind.” So, he took him to a Bible study with about twelve people attending.
Creflo walked into the apartment and all twelve people stood up to hug him and tell him they appreciated him coming. They welcomed him with open arms. He thought, “Man, I like the way this feels! Theses people love me – and they don’t even know me!” he was excited! He could hardly wait until the next Bible study. I continued to attend because of the love demonstrated by each person there. He praised God they were not a bunch of phonies, loving him one week and then snubbing him the next. They didn’t love Creflo because it was a part of their recruitment plan. He observed their continual love for one another, and he knew they were of God.
Own Story in College with Friday Night Fellowship at Mary Beth’s
I’ve told most of you about the story of Veta continuing to love me to Jesus. I’ve mentioned to you about Charismatic Presbyterian College Fellowship Group that blessed me. I have to say, that their love sustained me and kept me going. I saw it was genuine week after week. We would see each other on campus or around Lubbock somewhere and support each other as brothers and sisters in the Lord. When we were introduced to others or other Christians to us, we often said, this is so and so, a brother or a sister. I felt the connection and the love.
They Will Know Us by Our Love
Jesus Christ made it clear in John 13:35. He said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Our goal and life experience must be to love others as God loves them. This is the only thing that draws the lost to Christ and sustains their relationship with Him. It’s not harsh words or self-righteous attitudes. It’s love.
A football coach called in a player to his office and said, “I’m either going to drive you away from here or make you one of the best linebackers in the league.”
The player replied, “I’m man enough to take whatever you want to dish out.”
The coach challenged the player to stretch. Sometimes we need to be challenged in order to progress to the next level of maturity and spirituality. The key to your reaching the next level is to learn how to love. You should not be satisfied with your walk in Christ. Never think you have “arrived” at least not until you get to heaven! There is always room for improvement.
It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others. We see someone struggling in a certain area, and our tendency is to feel superior to him in some way.
But that’s the wrong attitude. There are so many areas in our lives that need improvement. We must do as Paul did in Philippians 3:12-13 and press on toward a higher level of spirituality and love.
Read Phil 3:12-13.
Opposition caused Paul to press toward his goal of knowing the fullness of God and His calling. The same opposition strengthened Paul’s resolve and pushed him out of the realm of average into the realm of extraordinary.
Forget The Past
Paul said forget the past – not only those things we are most ashamed of, but also those things that we are proud of. Why? Because dwelling on them hinders our spiritual progress and prevents us from pushing ourselves to do better. In other words, we stagnate rather than multiply.
For example, if a football player makes 15 tackles in one game, he can hardly concentrate on the next game, because he is mostly likely dwelling on the glory of the previous tackles.
Your judgment gets cloudy when you do not let go of the past. How? It either builds your ego or it feeds your shame. Every decision you make will be based on those emotions. Paul said Christians are like athletes always pressing on toward the finish line, not allowing anything to hinder them from reaching it. Our goal should be to please God in all we do. How can we do that? We do it by showing his love to those around us. In fact, it is absolutely vital that we love with intensity!
We not only need to forget the past of our own lives. We need to forget the past of those around us. I am not saying be naïve about ourselves or others. But, if we don’t forget the past or if we don’t choose love others regardless of their past, our judgment will be cloudy. Someone said, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” It breeds disgruntlement. It breeds dislike, disgust, and even hate. Someone said the people played in the sandbox when they were young and they remember getting hurt. They don’t give people room to change. We need to forget the past of others and love them anyway. We need to believe that God can still change peoples’ lives.
Ask God To Fill You With Love
If you are not sure where to begin, begin by asking God to fill your heart with His love. Let Him know you desire to see others as He does, and then go and win them to Jesus!
One day a man and his girl friend felt led of the Spirit to go witnessing at some apartments and win souls to Christ.
One guy tried to hit on the girl. He said, “Yeah, baby, you can talk to me.” She said, “You know, that’s the devil in you, and that’s the reason I’m here. You need to be delivered and set free!” Incredibly enough, not only was the man delivered, he accepted Christ into his heart as well.
When we ask God to fill us with his love, we need to also ask him how to show it to other people in ways they can receive it. If we are really going to love, we need to get out of our own little comfort zone box and love others they way they need it. Definitely!
Don’t Be Ashamed To Love
Maybe you’re ashamed to love others, because you don’t want them to think you’ve gone off the deep end. Or maybe it’s because you feel too awkward to witness to people. However, the Bible says, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Rom 5:5).
When you became born again, there was a spark in your eyes that hadn’t ever been there before. That was the love, presence and glory of God inside of you. All you wanted to do was share that feeling with everyone you knew. How many people loose the sparkle with every passing year? Why? It’s because they forget to pour that love into the lives of those around them.
You see. God’s love is magnified whenever we share it with others. God never intended for us to hoard it or cover it up.
By extending compassion, warmth and unconditional commitment, you become more than just a person with the title of Christian. You are transformed into a true follower of Jesus Christ.
Christ came to make you whole. It happened because of Love! Pass it forward!
 Creflo Dollar, Lord, Teach Me To Love, (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 2000).